President Barack Obama

Fact Check: Trumped-Up Charge On 'Obamacare' Premiums

Jun 6, 2016
Lynn Hatter, WFSU

Donald Trump says the Obama administration plans to delay telling consumers about premium increases for 2017 under the president's health care law — for political reasons. But there is no indication there will be such a delay, and Trump appears to have mixed up the calendar.

President Barack Obama has signed legislation aimed at preventing premium increases that some smaller businesses were expecting next year under his signature health care law.

Key Republicans on Tuesday asserted that the administration of Florida Gov. Rick Scott was playing politics in a continuing fight over health care that has already derailed one legislative session this year.

Scott, who has changed his stance on whether to expand Medicaid coverage twice now, is opposed to a plan pushed by Senate Republicans that would use federal money to provide private insurance to low-income Floridians.

  From contraception to colonoscopies, the Obama administration Monday closed a series of insurance loopholes on coverage of preventive care.

The department of Health and Human Services said insurers must cover at least one birth control option under each of 18 methods approved by the FDA — without copays.

Also, insurers can't charge patients for anesthesia services in connection with colonoscopies to screen for cancer risk.

HealthCare.gov

A little-known side to the government's health insurance website is prompting renewed concerns about privacy, just as the White House is calling for stronger cybersecurity protections for consumers.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

For Americans wondering why President Barack Obama hasn’t forced all states to follow a single, national rule for isolating potential Ebola patients, the White House has a quick retort: Talk to the Founding Fathers.

HealthCare.gov, the website for health insurance under President Barack Obama’s health care law, has been revamped as its second enrollment season approaches. But things are still complicated, since other major provisions of the Affordable Care Act are taking effect for the first time. A look at website and program changes just ahead:

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Old: 76 online screens to muddle through in insurance application.

If former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist gets his old job back, he promises to expand Medicaid to roughly 1 million low-income residents by calling a special session of the Legislature or through an executive order. If Gov. Rick Scott is re-elected, the decision will be once again left to the Legislature with little meddling from him.

President Barack Obama's health care law uses the tax system to subsidize coverage for the uninsured.

Promoting social policy goals through the tax code is a time-honored strategy for both political parties.

For example, the nation's main anti-poverty program, the Earned Income Tax Credit, uses the tax system to supplement the earnings of low-income families.

But melding insurance and taxes — two of the most complicated topics for consumers — won't be easy. Here are some pros and cons:

Many people newly insured by Medicaid under the federal health care law are seeking treatment in hospital emergency rooms, one of the most expensive medical settings, a study released Monday concludes.

The analysis by the Colorado Hospital Association provides a real-time glimpse at how the nation’s newest social program is working.

It also found indications that newly insured Medicaid patients admitted to hospitals may be sicker than patients previously covered under the same program, which serves more than 60 million low-income and disabled people.

The nation's respite from troublesome health care inflation is ending, the government said Wednesday in a report that renews a crucial budget challenge for lawmakers, taxpayers, businesses and patients.

Economic recovery, an aging society, and more people insured under the new health care law are driving the long-term trend, according to the report published online by the journal Health Affairs.

More than 200,000 immigrants who bought insurance through President Barack Obama's health care initiative could lose their coverage this month if they don't submit proof this week they are legally in the country, but language barriers and computer glitches are hindering efforts to alert them.

The government mailed letters in English and Spanish last month notifying about 300,000 people that if immigration and citizenship documents aren't submitted by Friday, their coverage under the Affordable Care Act will end Sept. 30.

The White House will release a state-by-state report Wednesday which estimates that a Medicaid expansion in Florida would generate 63,800 jobs from 2014-2017.  Most of the jobs would be in health care, while providing health care to 848,000 people, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

The Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment deadline has passed, and the total exceeded expectations, despite a rocky start.
The bickering between the critics and the administration continues, according to an editorial in the Ocala Star-Banner, but the fact remains that millions of Americans who couldn’t get coverage before now have insurance because of the law.  The success is even more startling, considering how hard opponents in Florida worked to stand in the way of the ACA.  

AP

President Obama, who is coming to Miami late today for fundraising, publicly apologized Thursday for over-promising on the Affordable Care Act in the past. He had assured Americans they wouldn’t lose their health insurance policies -- true for most people, but it turned out to be wrong for 5 to 8 percent of the population, those who buy plans in the individual market.

Federal contractors now say they’ve identified most of the main problems crippling Healthcare.gov, the main site of the online health insurance marketplace set up under Obamacare.

The serious flaws on the site have made it difficult, if not impossible, for many to sign up for health insurance, dogging the White House as Republicans still opposed to the law say “I told you so.”

A community outreach worker from Moffitt Cancer Center will be honored Tuesday morning by the Obama Administration in Washington, D.C.  for improving public health in Tampa Bay's Hispanic community. 

Myriam Escobar is one of eight people who will be recognized as a "Champion of Change" at the White House ceremony. The White House website will have a live stream at 10 a.m. 

University of South Florida will receive the lion's share of "Navigator Grants" being issued for Florida, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is to make the announcement at USF at noon.

The list of grants released for Florida totals around $7.8 million -- more than the $5.8 million that had been expected.

While Florida lawmakers rejected Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act during the session, some Republicans in the House are now saying the issue could be possible before the end of the year, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. State Rep. Jim Boyd of Bradenton and state Rep. Greg Steube of  Sarasota, told the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club on Thursday they think there’s a possibility the state could still draw down federal funds before Jan. 1.